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Old 5th April 2019, 08:05 AM   #721
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Yup. I did that just today. It always takes me a moment to realize it and then I have to figure out what got deleted.

NumLock isn't a problem. I mostly use a laptop with an external keyboard. Both have separate keypads. The other laptop doesn't have a numlock key or the keypad on the letters. It also doesn't have a removable media drive, enough USB's, or an ethernet port. But hey, it's thin and supposedly light. And wider and deeper than the one with the keypad.
Everyone needs at least one Mac in their life.




(The above is an attempt at a self deprecating joke by a long time Mac user who simply recognizes that some of the recent design choices made by Apple can be frustrating to users. It is not an attempt to derail into a Mac v. Windows v. Other debate.)
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Old 5th April 2019, 05:08 PM   #722
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
(The above is an attempt at a self deprecating joke by a long time Mac user who simply recognizes that some of the recent design choices made by Apple can be frustrating to users. It is not an attempt to derail into a Mac v. Windows v. Other debate.)
Spoken like a typical Mac user
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Old 8th April 2019, 04:34 PM   #723
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I literally just had to use the words "Have you tried switching it off and switching it back on again?" Those exact words.

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Old 8th April 2019, 08:29 PM   #724
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I literally just had to use the words "Have you tried switching it off and switching it back on again?" Those exact words.

https://media.giphy.com/media/LZ2VNz...yH0I/giphy.gif
You needed to go to lunch at that time and could not be bothered dealing with this user much longer?
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Old 9th April 2019, 12:12 AM   #725
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
You needed to go to lunch at that time and could not be bothered dealing with this user much longer?
Sometimes, it really is the answer.
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Old 9th April 2019, 12:14 AM   #726
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Sometimes, it really is the answer.
It so is.
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Old 9th April 2019, 12:17 AM   #727
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
It so is.
Affirm. But usually I don't use those exact words.
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Old 9th April 2019, 12:21 AM   #728
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Affirm. But usually I don't use those exact words.
It's "Not True" according to Snopes, but...damn! Haven't we all been there.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/word-imperfect/
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Old 9th April 2019, 11:28 AM   #729
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Sometimes, it really is the answer.
Affirmative!
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Old 9th April 2019, 01:10 PM   #730
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I had a director who thought that he knew all about IT because he used to be FD of an ISP once lecture me that although the only website that didn't work was (his bank) it had to be our fault because big companies websites never went down.. The story hit the news five minutes later.

My best moment with was when his laptop "wasn't working", I walked in, turned on his monitor, walked out.

And my bosses boss (IT Director) once called me in because he couldn't change a print a border in Excel....
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Old 9th April 2019, 04:44 PM   #731
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
It's "Not True" according to Snopes, but...damn! Haven't we all been there.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/word-imperfect/
While that is an amusing little story which has been doing the rounds since before Windows, it's not related to what I was talking about.
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Old 10th April 2019, 07:47 AM   #732
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Okay this is something I want some real feedback on from the tech and the user side of things.

Is it a reasonable expectation to be able to walk around a building the size, shape, layout, build, etc of your average hospital with a laptop on Wi-fi and expect to never lose signal?

I have several users who do this, they are mobile users who move from office to office, station to station and so forth with laptops and constantly complain that on occasion they will lose signal for a few moments (never for long).

I honestly don't see a whole lot I can do about this. The Wifi network in the hospital is what is is and not controlled by us, I've updated all their drivers and modified their "Wifi Roaming Aggressiveness" to the best possible level. And I just don't see "I dropped off connectivity for a few seconds" as that big a deal, even in this environment.

And I'm being serious here. Am I treating this as too little of a deal?
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Old 10th April 2019, 08:00 AM   #733
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay this is something I want some real feedback on from the tech and the user side of things.

Is it a reasonable expectation to be able to walk around a building the size, shape, layout, build, etc of your average hospital with a laptop on Wi-fi and expect to never lose signal?

I have several users who do this, they are mobile users who move from office to office, station to station and so forth with laptops and constantly complain that on occasion they will lose signal for a few moments (never for long).

I honestly don't see a whole lot I can do about this. The Wifi network in the hospital is what is is and not controlled by us, I've updated all their drivers and modified their "Wifi Roaming Aggressiveness" to the best possible level. And I just don't see "I dropped off connectivity for a few seconds" as that big a deal, even in this environment.

And I'm being serious here. Am I treating this as too little of a deal?
I can see why people in that environment would be unhappy with losing connectivity, but most likely, the only solution would be to install more access points, which is not something under your control. I can only suggest making clear to them that it's not something that you can fix, and suggest that they raise it with the people who can do something about it, whoever that might be.
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Old 10th April 2019, 08:04 AM   #734
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Sometimes, it really is the answer.
Very often it really is the answer. Generally speaking, if a computer, printer, router or other electronic device is misbehaving, the first thing I will try is a restart or power cycle. It usually works.
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Old 10th April 2019, 08:07 AM   #735
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What are the actual real-world consequences of them losing wifi for a moment, if any? Is it, for instance, longer than their email polling period? If so, and if this is a problem, then is email the right channel for these messages?
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Old 10th April 2019, 09:11 AM   #736
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
What are the actual real-world consequences of them losing wifi for a moment, if any? Is it, for instance, longer than their email polling period? If so, and if this is a problem, then is email the right channel for these messages?
It's... odd.

These are legit systems being used to actually access patient information through website portals, schedules labs, stuff like that. It's not time sensitive in the "OMG this patient is gonna die!" sense, but I won't call "unimportant."

We maintain psychically connected Ethernet workstations through the sites. A lot of customers though have just gotten used to using mobile devices for the convenience, which is fair. We don't (at most sites) maintain the Wifi network, it's maintain at the hospital level or "medical business center" (since some of them technically aren't hospitals) level and... often near as I can tell are just there for public convenience and aren't provided as part of their lease or as promised business service if that makes any sense.

Tl;Dr a bunch of my users jump on the public hospital wifi to do stuff because it's easier then finding a terminal, logging onto it, pulling up the website/portal, but they complain to us when the wi-fi doesn't meet performance/reliability standards it was never really mean to.
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Old 10th April 2019, 09:14 AM   #737
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Managing user expectations is ......... (don't swear, stay calm) ....problematic. (Whew we got their with no ******* swearing) dammit!
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Old 10th April 2019, 10:26 AM   #738
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
It's... odd.

These are legit systems being used to actually access patient information through website portals, schedules labs, stuff like that. It's not time sensitive in the "OMG this patient is gonna die!" sense, but I won't call "unimportant."

We maintain psychically connected Ethernet workstations through the sites. A lot of customers though have just gotten used to using mobile devices for the convenience, which is fair. We don't (at most sites) maintain the Wifi network, it's maintain at the hospital level or "medical business center" (since some of them technically aren't hospitals) level and... often near as I can tell are just there for public convenience and aren't provided as part of their lease or as promised business service if that makes any sense.

Tl;Dr a bunch of my users jump on the public hospital wifi to do stuff because it's easier then finding a terminal, logging onto it, pulling up the website/portal, but they complain to us when the wi-fi doesn't meet performance/reliability standards it was never really mean to.
My first thought as a non-technical person was "Holy ****, how is using public wifi ever going to be HIPPA compliant and damn what are the security risks of doing that." But, I will assume that you have tackled those issues since they would be squarely in your wheelhouse, not mine.

Sounds like someone needs to set up a separate wifi environment for the medical professionals that is intended to give them uninterrupted access throughout their workspace. Whether that someone is the landlord, hospital, or medical professionals acting in concert, I don't know. But you could bring up the HIPPA and security concerns and probably convince someone like me that it would be better to have all of this on a separate system.
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Old 10th April 2019, 11:15 AM   #739
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
It's... odd.

These are legit systems being used to actually access patient information through website portals, schedules labs, stuff like that. It's not time sensitive in the "OMG this patient is gonna die!" sense, but I won't call "unimportant."

We maintain psychically connected Ethernet workstations through the sites. A lot of customers though have just gotten used to using mobile devices for the convenience, which is fair. We don't (at most sites) maintain the Wifi network, it's maintain at the hospital level or "medical business center" (since some of them technically aren't hospitals) level and... often near as I can tell are just there for public convenience and aren't provided as part of their lease or as promised business service if that makes any sense.

Tl;Dr a bunch of my users jump on the public hospital wifi to do stuff because it's easier then finding a terminal, logging onto it, pulling up the website/portal, but they complain to us when the wi-fi doesn't meet performance/reliability standards it was never really mean to.
Pity you can't enter the MDC anymore
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Old 10th April 2019, 04:30 PM   #740
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay this is something I want some real feedback on from the tech and the user side of things.

Is it a reasonable expectation to be able to walk around a building the size, shape, layout, build, etc of your average hospital with a laptop on Wi-fi and expect to never lose signal?

I have several users who do this, they are mobile users who move from office to office, station to station and so forth with laptops and constantly complain that on occasion they will lose signal for a few moments (never for long).

I honestly don't see a whole lot I can do about this. The Wifi network in the hospital is what is is and not controlled by us, I've updated all their drivers and modified their "Wifi Roaming Aggressiveness" to the best possible level. And I just don't see "I dropped off connectivity for a few seconds" as that big a deal, even in this environment.

And I'm being serious here. Am I treating this as too little of a deal?
It is completely reasonable to expect wifi connectivity in all places on the property. And it's both easy and inexpensive to provide it.
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Old 10th April 2019, 04:31 PM   #741
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
Very often it really is the answer. Generally speaking, if a computer, printer, router or other electronic device is misbehaving, the first thing I will try is a restart or power cycle. It usually works.
This particular call was about a printer.

ETA: Actually a MFD but you know what I mean.
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Old 14th April 2019, 08:26 PM   #742
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Me: How can I help?

Them: GoToMeeting automatically starts up when I log on. Can you stop it from doing that?

Me: Yes, there's usually a setting that controls that behaviour.

Them: Okay.

Me: ...

Them: ...

Me: I'm not exactly familiar with that software, but if you like I can have a poke around.

Them: Oh, that would be great.

Me: (Start Remote Assistance, log on, find GoToMeeting in system tray, right-click, select Properties, disable autostart, click OK). That's it.

Them: Thanks!
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Old 14th April 2019, 08:59 PM   #743
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Are you repeating that exchange literally?
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Old 14th April 2019, 09:12 PM   #744
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Are you repeating that exchange literally?
Almost. My point was that it was literally a four-click solution.
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Old 14th April 2019, 11:51 PM   #745
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Me: How can I help?

Them: GoToMeeting automatically starts up when I log on. Can you stop it from doing that?

Me: Yes, there's usually a setting that controls that behaviour.

Them: Okay.

Me: ...

Them: ...

Me: I'm not exactly familiar with that software, but if you like I can have a poke around.

Them: Oh, that would be great.

Me: (Start Remote Assistance, log on, find GoToMeeting in system tray, right-click, select Properties, disable autostart, click OK). That's it.

Them: Thanks!
Again... They have you trained, so they don't have to do any thinking.
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Old 15th April 2019, 12:36 AM   #746
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Again... They have you trained, so they don't have to do any thinking.
It's Monday. We had calls waiting. This was quicker.
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Old 15th April 2019, 11:08 AM   #747
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Most of my calls recently have ended being reported to the software supplier as bugs. A colleague had the best one though; it was simulation software, that ended up giving a result that was tens of orders of magnitude out. I can't remember the values, but he did a fag-packet calculation and estimated the software was telling him that a few square mm of silicon chip was dissipating as much power as 10,000 sq km of the Sun's surface.

The software supplier thought he'd got something wrong, but ended up realising it was a problem with one of their algorithms.
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Old 15th April 2019, 03:00 PM   #748
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Most of my calls recently have ended being reported to the software supplier as bugs. A colleague had the best one though; it was simulation software, that ended up giving a result that was tens of orders of magnitude out. I can't remember the values, but he did a fag-packet calculation and estimated the software was telling him that a few square mm of silicon chip was dissipating as much power as 10,000 sq km of the Sun's surface.

The software supplier thought he'd got something wrong, but ended up realising it was a problem with one of their algorithms.
But do we know what size cooling fan they spec'ed?
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Old 15th April 2019, 05:32 PM   #749
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
It's Monday. We had calls waiting. This was quicker.
But yeah, know that situation all too well.

A loooooong time ago, I worked in a place that went to the trouble of providing useful tools (mostly follow-the-bouncing-ball screencaps) for users to show them how to make various changes to their PCs - pick desktops, relocate icons, change colour schemes, etc. Mostly harmless stuff that gave them a sense of ownership of their PC. By giving them this knowledge, we "empowered" them...the wording of the day. Anyway, 80% of our users were happy to leave the PCs bog-standard and get on with the job. About 15% liked to use the vids to personalise their unit. And thus it was only the 5% remaining who were the real problem-children. Consequently we could then concentrate on them, why they had problems, and find useful solutions for them (sometimes involving taking the damn PC off some of them because they would also have a problem driving a spoon).
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Old 15th April 2019, 07:28 PM   #750
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
But yeah, know that situation all too well.

A loooooong time ago, I worked in a place that went to the trouble of providing useful tools (mostly follow-the-bouncing-ball screencaps) for users to show them how to make various changes to their PCs - pick desktops, relocate icons, change colour schemes, etc. Mostly harmless stuff that gave them a sense of ownership of their PC. By giving them this knowledge, we "empowered" them...the wording of the day. Anyway, 80% of our users were happy to leave the PCs bog-standard and get on with the job. About 15% liked to use the vids to personalise their unit. And thus it was only the 5% remaining who were the real problem-children. Consequently we could then concentrate on them, why they had problems, and find useful solutions for them (sometimes involving taking the damn PC off some of them because they would also have a problem driving a spoon).
The place where I am now actually has a better Knowledge Base than almost any other place I've worked. The only one that was better was the one that I basically wrote myself. Most of our KB is available to the customers, but very few people know about it yet. I send out links to it all the time, though. We should see if we can get something put on the Intranet news carousel if we can.
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Old 15th April 2019, 07:42 PM   #751
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The place where I am now actually has a better Knowledge Base than almost any other place I've worked. The only one that was better was the one that I basically wrote myself. Most of our KB is available to the customers, but very few people know about it yet. I send out links to it all the time, though. We should see if we can get something put on the Intranet news carousel if we can.
Yep, something that suits your particular workplace is always good.

The way the other place did it was rather simple: They analysed the user problem calls and ranked their most common annoying issues. In that case it was managing their PC desktop and file systems efficiently for their work.

Then they made available solutions for the most commonly repeated problems which the users could employ themselves without Helpdesk needing to be involved (so often). Distribution was via the first intranet the company had made (lots of hand-built code!). Solutions ranged from the above issues of twiddling colour schemes to a tutorial on how and where to use File Manager. As noted, it was not 100% perfect but Helpdesk was able to concentrate on the more esoteric problems (good!) and the problems from the few dunderheads (bad!).

Mind you, this was all back in the early WinXP days...so some solutions may still be applicable.
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Old 15th April 2019, 08:08 PM   #752
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Yes, we had a meeting with our Service Delivery people a couple of weeks back because we instituted a new Urgency/Impact matrix, and they outlined some of their call prevention methods. Basically, some of the issues I've related here which seem to be complete wastes of my time will be reviewed to see what can be done to preemptively prevent such calls in the future. It's pretty good. I actually like working here. It's much better than some other Service Desks I've worked on.
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Old 15th April 2019, 08:24 PM   #753
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Yes, we had a meeting with our Service Delivery people a couple of weeks back because we instituted a new Urgency/Impact matrix, and they outlined some of their call prevention methods. Basically, some of the issues I've related here which seem to be complete wastes of my time will be reviewed to see what can be done to preemptively prevent such calls in the future. It's pretty good. I actually like working here. It's much better than some other Service Desks I've worked on.
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Old 16th April 2019, 08:09 AM   #754
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Again... They have you trained, so they don't have to do any thinking.
You keep saying this as if

A) We don't know.

B) We can do anything about it.
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Old 16th April 2019, 08:48 AM   #755
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
You keep saying this as if

A) We don't know.

B) We can do anything about it.
Can only be addressed by management senior enough to push it through and it's clear you don't have that backing.
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Old 16th April 2019, 05:34 PM   #756
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
You keep saying this as if

A) We don't know.

B) We can do anything about it.
Also, when you think about it, this is in some ways exactly what we are being paid to do. It's why we exist. One of the reasons we exist.

Our customers are often highly skilled in their areas. They have neither the time nor the desire to acquire more than a rudimentary set of skills outside their speciality.
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Old 16th April 2019, 05:46 PM   #757
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
You keep saying this as if

A) We don't know.

B) We can do anything about it.
Uh, no.

Do you know about it? Dunno. If you do, can something be done about it in your environment? Dunno again. Horses for courses, I guess.
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Old 16th April 2019, 05:52 PM   #758
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Also, when you think about it, this is in some ways exactly what we are being paid to do. It's why we exist. One of the reasons we exist.

Our customers are often highly skilled in their areas. They have neither the time nor the desire to acquire more than a rudimentary set of skills outside their speciality.
To politely counter, you would expect that F1 racing-car drivers would know how to drive a car first as part of their job. And that entails knowing what the knobs and dials and wheels and pedals and stuff all do when you operate them.

The situation I describe as "users having you trained" is where the F1 driver demands the pit crew to tell him how to drive...either while he's out on the track, or by bringing the car back in each lap for more instructions.

Your job is the pit crew. You provide your users the best tools you can and fix them quickly when they are broken. You keep track of how they go and provide better replacements. But you don't do your driver's job for him.
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Old 16th April 2019, 07:05 PM   #759
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Just got a call from the niece (as I sold her my Mac, everything that happens on it is my responsibility) about her inability to open a particular document that "worked perfectly before." Didn't have a backup. No idea what kind of doc it was -- sent me a screen shot of the file name. Oh, and the computer was still back at the office.

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay this is something I want some real feedback on from the tech and the user side of things.

Is it a reasonable expectation to be able to walk around a building the size, shape, layout, build, etc of your average hospital with a laptop on Wi-fi and expect to never lose signal?

I have several users who do this, they are mobile users who move from office to office, station to station and so forth with laptops and constantly complain that on occasion they will lose signal for a few moments (never for long).

I honestly don't see a whole lot I can do about this. The Wifi network in the hospital is what is is and not controlled by us, I've updated all their drivers and modified their "Wifi Roaming Aggressiveness" to the best possible level. And I just don't see "I dropped off connectivity for a few seconds" as that big a deal, even in this environment.

And I'm being serious here. Am I treating this as too little of a deal?
I have to go all over the VA hospital every time I'm there. It's a toss-up as to whether I will be able to get wi-fi or AT&T access. This is just a minor inconvenience as a patient but sometimes when having to wait a long time it would be nice to keep a connection.

Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Most of my calls recently have ended being reported to the software supplier as bugs. A colleague had the best one though; it was simulation software, that ended up giving a result that was tens of orders of magnitude out. I can't remember the values, but he did a fag-packet calculation and estimated the software was telling him that a few square mm of silicon chip was dissipating as much power as 10,000 sq km of the Sun's surface.

The software supplier thought he'd got something wrong, but ended up realising it was a problem with one of their algorithms.
Once got a panicky call from the remote warehouse because dozens of loads were dropping for no apparent reason. Turned out one of the entry people was just trying to do an example and "just put the standard dummy value in the field -- all '9's".
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Old 16th April 2019, 07:06 PM   #760
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
To politely counter, you would expect that F1 racing-car drivers would know how to drive a car first as part of their job. And that entails knowing what the knobs and dials and wheels and pedals and stuff all do when you operate them.

The situation I describe as "users having you trained" is where the F1 driver demands the pit crew to tell him how to drive...either while he's out on the track, or by bringing the car back in each lap for more instructions.

Your job is the pit crew. You provide your users the best tools you can and fix them quickly when they are broken. You keep track of how they go and provide better replacements. But you don't do your driver's job for him.
Right, but I think that to describe the situation as us having been "trained" is a bit unfair. To extend your metaphor to possibly beyond its breaking point, as pit crew I'm not expected to know how to drive the car. Some drivers might have that unreasonable expectation, but they still know enough about how to drive a car without the pit crew holding their hand the whole time. There are other drivers on the track, and in my experience they often seek help from those drivers first, before coming to the pit crew. Those who don't are an exception, rather than standard. And this knowledge that they have is enough to get the car around the track, but it may not be enough to know exactly when they need to stop for fuel.

And to end this metaphor on a perfect analogy, sometimes F1 cars crash.
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